The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, has talked up the Federal Government’s ICT projects and its proposed separation of Telstra in a speech at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
During his keynote address, the minister praised the annual conference for its creativity and vision and said Australia had similar qualities, using the 2009 Realising Our Broadband Future conference and the National Broadband Network (NBN) as examples.
“Currently, in Australia broadband is slow and expensive,” Conroy said. “The NBN is designed to enable Australia to lead and prosper in the emerging digital environment and our purpose with the forum was to explore how we can maximise the benefits on offer.
“The Government’s primary role is that of an enabler... Government should enable individuals, households and businesses to take-up the opportunities raised by the digital economy.”
The Minister also told the audience Telstra was one of the most integrated private telcos in the world and said he was working to “address the underlying incentives Telstra has to favour its own retail businesses over its wholesale customers”.
Next-generation wireless spectrum was also mentioned, with Conroy revealing the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) will soon release a discussion paper on uses for the 2.5GHz spectrum.
“Australia has a great vision to take advantage of the opportunities ahead as broadband-enabled innovation and technology become further entrenched in our lives over the years ahead,” he said.
One major Labor policy missing from Conroy’s speech was the controversial move towards mandatory ISP filtering. Despite covering Telstra, the NBN, wireless spectrum, digital television, NICTA and IPTV, compulsory filtering was not mentioned.